South African employers have conservative hiring intentions, across all industries nationally, for the fourth quarter, the ManPowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) has found.
Fourteen per cent of employers expect to increase staffing levels, 8% forecast a decrease and 78% anticipate no change. The resulting net employment outlook is therefore 6% growth.
Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be strongest in the agriculture, hunting, and forestry and fishing sectors, with a net employment outlook of 18%, and weakest within the construction sector, with an outlook of a 7% contraction.
Wholesale and retail trade expects an outlook of 16%, transport, storage and communication sector employers expect an outlook of 10%, while some workforce gains are anticipated in both the restaurants and hotels and the mining and quarrying sector, with outlooks of 8% and 6% respectively.
Provincially, employers in KwaZulu-Natal report the strongest hiring intentions for the last quarter of the year, while employers in the Eastern Cape report the weakest hiring intentions.
Payrolls are forecast to increase in three of the five reporting regions during the final quarter of this year. KwaZulu-Natal employers report favourable hiring prospects with a net employment outlook of 13%, while employers in both Gauteng and Western Cape report encouraging signs for job seekers with outlooks of 8% and 7%, respectively.
However, Free State employers anticipate a flat labour market with an outlook of 0%, while Eastern Cape employers expect to trim payrolls, reporting an outlook of a 5% contraction.
Hiring intentions are unchanged when compared with the third quarter of the year, and remain relatively stable when compared with the fourth quarter of last year.
“South Africa’s economy continues to be weighed down by slower-than-expected economic growth, which can translate into employers being cautious about hiring and spending-related activity, especially in the run-up to the year-end holiday season,” comments ManpowerGroup South Africa MD Lyndy van den Barselaar.
The MEOS is conducted quarterly to measure 750 South African employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter.